Care providers and friends since their school days, Jennifer Millich (left) and BreAnne Marcucci talk with Gabbie Machado and her 1-year-old son, Braylon, in one of the comfortable rooms they have created at Pacific Wellness and Lactation. The two caregivers provide postpartum and newborn care, as well as breastfeeding support. (Dan Bates / The Herald)

Care providers and friends since their school days, Jennifer Millich (left) and BreAnne Marcucci talk with Gabbie Machado and her 1-year-old son, Braylon, in one of the comfortable rooms they have created at Pacific Wellness and Lactation. The two caregivers provide postpartum and newborn care, as well as breastfeeding support. (Dan Bates / The Herald)

New moms get a little help from friends

Two childhood neighbors start a free support group for breastfeeding mothers.

EVERETT — BreAnne Marcucci and Jennifer Millich are back in the neighborhood where they met as children, with a mission to help moms and babies stay healthy.

They opened Pacific Wellness and Lactation in November, after two years of planning. They provide postpartum and newborn care along with breastfeeding support.

When they launched the business, they also started a free support group for breastfeeding moms. They know it can be hard to find help, particularly for low-income families. Not all insurance plans cover lactation consultations and many resources are in Seattle, a difficult trip for a mother with a newborn and limited transportation.

Mothers can bring their babies any time between 1 and 2:30 p.m. on Wednesdays to 11314 4th Ave. W, Suite 108, not far from Mariner High School. During the group, Marcucci and Millich weigh babies and help moms with positioning and nursing.

They can catch problems early, they said. If a baby isn’t gaining enough weight or isn’t nursing well, Marcucci and Millich talk to the family about additional care.

The two biggest concerns patients have are that their baby isn’t eating enough, or that the mother is having pain during nursing. Many of the women are referred by a pediatrician or through the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) nutrition program. It can cost upwards of $140 out of pocket for a lactation consultation, Marcucci said. For most families they see, that’s out of the budget.

“This is such a fragile period in a mom and baby’s life,” Millich said.

So far, the group has drawn between one and four visitors per session, but they hope to see it grow. They want the mothers to be able to lean on one another.

“If you’re a mom, you just want to share,” Marcucci said. “If it’s all wonderful, you want to share the good. But if it’s not, you want to talk about it.”

Regular check-ins also offer a chance to watch for signs of postpartum depression or anxiety. Trouble breastfeeding can go hand-in-hand with emotional health, Marcucci said. She and Millich have a room for a mental health professional who specializes in postpartum care. They haven’t found someone yet, but are hopeful they’ll be able to offer that service soon.

“We have a big investment in this area, and we just saw this as a need,” Marcucci said. “The whole community is dear to our hearts. We grew up here. Our families live here.”

Marcucci graduated from Mariner High School, as did Katrina Craddock, who helps run the office. They were cheerleaders together, and now Craddock coaches.

Millich lived down the street from Marcucci when they were children, and graduated from Arlington High School after she and her family moved north. All three women are mothers, as well.

Gabbie Machado came for the support group last month. She brought her 1-year-old son, Braylon. Machado also volunteers there to gain experience for her lactation consultant certification exam.

Braylon is eating well. Checking in regularly with Marcucci and Millich has been a huge help, Machado said. It’s not just knowing her baby’s weight and monitoring his growth, but also being able to talk to two women who are mothers and medical professionals. Marcucci is a family nurse practitioner and Millich is a registered nurse. Both are certified lactation consultants.

“I think (they) are providing a great resource for moms and newborns that not many or any other clinics and hospitals in the county provide or offer without billing,” she said. “It’s a great way to reach out to new moms and offer that support that not a lot get nowadays.”

Kari Bray: 425-339-3439;

For more information on the free drop-in group for breastfeeding moms, call 425-322-4913 or go to

Talk to us

More in Local News

Marysville firefighters respond to a 12-year-old boy who fell down a well Tuesday May 30, 2023 in Marysville, Washington. (Photo provided by Marysville Fire District)
Marysville firefighters save boy who fell 20 feet into well

The 12-year-old child held himself up by grabbing on to a plastic pipe while firefighters worked to save him.

Highway 9 is set to be closed in both directions for a week as construction crews build a roundabout at the intersection with Vernon Road. (Washington State Department of Transportation)
Weeklong closure coming to Highway 9 section in Lake Stevens

Travelers should expect delays or find another way from Friday to Thursday between Highway 204 and Lundeen Parkway.

Students arriving off the bus get in line to score some waffles during a free pancake and waffle breakfast at Lowell Elementary School on Friday, May 26, 2023, in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
800 free pancakes at Everett’s Lowell Elementary feed the masses

The annual breakfast was started to connect the community and the school, as well as to get people to interact.

Marysville Mayor Jon Nehring speaks at the groundbreaking event for the I-5/SR 529 Interchange project on Tuesday, May 23, 2023 in Marysville, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
$123M project starting on Highway 529 interchange, I-5 HOV lane

A reader wondered why the highway had a lane closure despite not seeing work done. Crews were waiting on the weather.

Justin Bell was convicted earlier this month of first-degree assault for a December 2017 shooting outside a Value Village in Everett. (Caleb Hutton / Herald file)
Court: Snohomish County jurors’ opaque masks didn’t taint verdict

During the pandemic, Justin Bell, 32, went on trial for a shooting. Bell claims his right to an impartial jury was violated.

Gary Fontes uprights a tree that fell over in front of The Fontes Manor — a miniature handmade bed and breakfast — on Friday, May 12, 2023, at his home near Silver Lake in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Everett’s mini-Frank Lloyd Wright builds neighborhood of extra tiny homes

A tiny lighthouse, a spooky mansion and more: Gary Fontes’ miniature world of architectural wonders is one-twelfth the size of real life.

Will Steffener
Inslee appoints Steffener as Superior Court judge

Attorney Will Steffener will replace Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Janice Ellis, who is retiring in June.

Kamiak High School is pictured Friday, July 8, 2022, in Mukilteo, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Kamiak football coach fired amid sexual misconduct investigation

Police believe Julian Willis, 34, sexually abused the student in portable classrooms on Kamiak High School’s campus.

The M/V Puyallup docks at the Edmonds waterfront on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020 in Edmonds. The ferry along with the passenger loading walkway were struck by lightning last week. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Tune in for virtual meeting on Edmonds-Kingston ferry

The series of Washington State Ferries meetings are for updates and public comment. A recording is available online.

Most Read